When an individual believes that an outside party is responsible for the destruction of the affection that once existed in his/her marital relationship, he/she may be permitted to initiate a lawsuit against the offending party, on the groups of alienation of affection.
There are only a few states that continue to permit lawsuits regarding alienation of affection. These states include Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah, Mississippi, Illinois, South Dakota, and North Carolina. In order for an individual to effectively establish an alienation of affection lawsuit, he/she must be able to effectively prove that the offending party knowingly and intentionally destroyed the love that once existed in his/her marriage.
Adultery or an extramarital emotional relationship is not necessary for alienation of affection to occur. A parent can also be guilty of alienation of affection in regard to his/her spouse and child, if he/she takes steps to destroy or weaken the relationship between his/her spouse and child.